So a little earlier this fall the awesome folks over at Etsy teamed up with NASA to commemorate the end of the NASA Space Shuttle Program with a creative challenge: “Share an original handmade item or work of art inspired by the NASA Space Shuttle Program and space exploration at large.” This was the perfect inspiration to try my hand (again) at something I’ve been wanting to do.
Since I first learned to make round blown glass vases, I’ve been wanting to make “Earth.” My first attempt at mixing blue and green resulted in teal. While the effect was interesting, it wasn’t what I was looking for. Then, I got some white frit and added it to blue for “clouds.” Again, nice, but not exactly what I had in mind.
When I heard about the contest, I decided to give it another try. Since my first attempts, I’d made the shape a few more time and gotten in two new colors: watermelon green glass frit and an enamel white powder. Time to put them all together!
On my first gather of glass, I applied blue frit. After blowing it up a little, I gathered glass again and rolled on green frit loosely throughout the shape. More blowing and shaping, then into the furnace for another clear glass gather. Still more blowing and shaping–and with the help of my trusty assistant–we sprinkled the white powder sporadically over the sphere before taking it off the blow pipe. More heating and shaping, then into the annealer it went. While the land formations aren’t as dense as those on our fair planet, I feel like you can finally get a sense of “Earth” in the finished piece.
So I took the plunge, added “Earth” to my Etsy shop and entered the Spacecraft Contest. And I couldn’t have been more excited to learn today that it has advanced into the next round of the contest!!
Thank you to everyone who voted for my “Inspiration Earth Blown Glass Vase” in the Space Craft contest. My vase made it to the finalist round, traveled to Etsy headquarters in New York for judging and is now part of NASA’s permanent collection.